IOHK has announced a Cardano network upgrade scheduled on February 20 in order to prepare the network for the Shelley Mainnet launch. The upgrade’s purpose is to introduce Ouroboros BFT, an improved consensus mechanism. This upgrade is an intermediate step between the network’s current Byron era and Shelley, which would enable staking on the blockchain.

Cardano Network Upgrade

Ouroboros is a ‘provably secure’ proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol. Currently, the Cardano network is using Ouroboros Classic, which has several compromises in decentralization. Namely, the network’s list of validators is fixed, and their succession is already known.

Now, Cardano has confirmed that the team intends to release the Ouroboros Byzantine Fault Tolerance (OBFT) protocol. While Ouroboros Classic was associated with Byron Mainnet, OBFT is the last stage of the network’s evolution before Ouroboros Genesis, which would power the Shelley Mainnet.

The network upgrade will take place on February 20, at 4:44 PM EST. Neither, ADA holders, nor the participants of Shelley testnet have been asked to do anything during the time of the upgrade.

According to the official statement, the network would benefit immediately from the upgrade. The upgrade would improve the system’s transactions per second (TPS) rate, as well as blockchain portability.

While it may have individual benefits, the upgrade’s main purpose is to prepare the network for its transition to the Shelley Mainnet. The team had decided to split the transition into two hard forks to ensure that the network continues to operate while the Cardano network upgrades.

Cardano had initially intended to launch the Shelly Mainnet by the end of 2019. However, the team suffered setbacks and was only able to launch a testnet in December 2019.

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